Monday, July 1, 2013

Bodybuilding Contest Dieting and the Separation of Powers

I believe that the concept of the Separation of Powers finds its greatest sanction in the Biblical verse Isaiah 33:22, where the three branches of government are listed explicitly:
(For the Lord is our Judge,
The Lord is our Lawgiver,
The Lord is our King;
He will save us);
Here, of course, we find the powers unseparated, since God can be trusted to wield all three types of power simultaneously.  It is not so when men attempt to govern themselves, which is why we need the "checks and balances" which the Separation of Powers ideally provides.

Just how necessary the Separation of Powers is was brought home to me by considering my current attempt to create my own pre-contest bodybuilding diet and to enforce that same diet on myself.

Creating the diet is a Legislative function:  I "lay down the law" concerning what must and must not be eaten each day.  Enforcing (following) the diet is an Executive function.  When, for previous contests, I had hired contest prep coaches, those coaches were the Legislative Branch for me.  Their word was law; I merely had to execute.  However, now that I am making my own dietary law, it is not so easy.  Because the same one who is charged with executing the law (me) is able to re-write the law at will.  This is not so good.

This morning, I yearned for some tasty waffles, with butter and syrup.  They were not to be found within the dietary law I had laid down for myself yesterday.  Had I still been operating under a Separation of Powers situation, I would not have thought of failing my coaches by eating waffles; my only job would have been to execute the plan.   But, because I now hold both powers, I had a strange lack of zeal to execute the non-waffle-eating law, and a forceful temptation to re-write the law.  I did not do so, but the danger was present.

In any case, the Judicial Branch will be seated behind a table in the front row of the bodybuilding venue when I compete on September 28, and they shall most surely pass judgment on my efforts between now and then.